Western is atop a beautiful hill surrounded by trees and shrubbery that would make a Knight of Ni go mad. Students have access to eateries and markets while traversing between classes, and if they live on campus, they don’t really have any reason to ever leave.
But is this in the best interest of the student? A majority of students take advantage of the beautiful landscapes and terrain that Bellingham offers, but there’s so much more to this city that no one ever sees. There are many opportunities that Bellingham has outside of Exit 252 that Western students are not taking advantage of. We live in a little bubble between Samish Way and Cornwall Street and most people never leave the safety of Sehome, campus and downtown.
While it is paramount that a student takes full advantage of the resources on campus that they pay for, surprises and opportunities await those who decide to branch out into the greater Bellingham community.
For students interested in manufacturing and supply chain management, Woodstone Corporation, a local hearth fire oven manufacturer, hires interns annually. For business students interested in investments, they’d be well-suited in visiting Saturna Capital, which manages the second largest public equity mutual fund in the world. Public relations and journalism students – volunteer with the Downtown Bellingham Partnership. They connect with just about every local Bellingham company and could provide excellent internship resources.
For entertainment, students aren’t limited to the Underground Coffeehouse. The Pickford Film Center downtown shows a variety of up-and-coming independent films, and the SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention is constantly spouting unique exhibits. Going outside of the downtown sector, the north end of Bellingham has all sorts of adventures to embark upon, including a bowling alley, trampoline gym and even a camel farm.
These suggestions are purely for student benefit. Some students are incredibly involved with the community outside of Western and we salute them. Environmental studies students trek down to Anacortes to be a part of the Shannon Point Marine Center. Students in the education programs get involved in Compass 2 Campus, and as part of the program are integrated into the local school system.
So the moral of the story? We go to an incredible school with exemplary student services and resources – but we shouldn’t allow these comforts to discourage us from exploring the rest of the territory. Our time here is short as students and if you want to get the most out of your college experience and the beautiful place we live in, we advise you hop in your car, get on the bus, take a bike ride or even walk to some of the great amenities Bellingham has to offer.
The editorial board is composed of Anna Jentoft, Dylan Green, Brandon Stone and Stephanie Villiers.